And the 2016 NJSDD Winners Are...


2016 NJSDD Winners Crowned!

Congratulations to our winners! Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Executive Director Angelo M. Valente,  is pictured (left to right) with New Jersey Shout Down Drugs 1st place winners Juan Ferreria, Alexia Velaquez and Ayman Abdalla of the group AJAni, students at County Prep High School,  Jersey City, Hudson County, second place winner  Michelle Greco of Wall High School, Wall Township, Monmouth County, third place winner Ricky Persaud Jr. of Shepard Prep High School, Morristown, Morris County and Bert Baron, morning show host from WCTC 1450 AM and host of Shout Down Drugs. #shoutdowndrugs​‬



Contact: Taylor Lier, Media Coordinator, 201-916-1032,

May 25, 2016


New Jersey High School Students Shout Down Drugs at Statewide Substance Abuse Prevention Music Competition


NEW BRUNSWICK – New Jersey has a new ambassador to shout down drugs.

Juan Ferreira, Alexia Velazquez, and Ayman Abdalla of the trio AJAni were awarded first place for their original song “Death Train”, in the 12th Annual Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s Shout Down Drugs (PDFNJ) Prevention Concert.  The statewide champions are students at County Prep High School in Jersey City.

Second place was given to Michelle Greco, a student at Wall High School in Monmouth County with her song “Stand Away” and Ricky Persaud  Jr. of Shepard Prep High School in Morristown who was also the online vote finalist this year, took third place honors for his song “Don’t Do It.” The finalists were evaluated by the prevention message in the lyrics, originality, and performance.

In total, 29 New Jersey high school students shared their messages of shouting down drugs and living drug-free lives at the Statewide Prevention Concert held at the Rutgers University Nicholas Music Art Center in New Brunswick at the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) 12th annual Shout Down Drugs Music Concert.

The New Jersey Shout Down Drugs music competition challenges high school students to create original music with lyrics that contain powerful peer-to-peer drug prevention messages.  At the conclusion of the competition, three finalists were awarded one of three music contracts with PDFNJ, worth a total of $10,000 to perform their winning song at statewide events.

The concert was hosted by Bert Baron, morning show host for WCTC 1450AM. Tickets to the concert were free of charge.

 “Simply by being here tonight, these amazing teen musicians have affirmed their commitment to a healthy and drug-free lifestyle,” said Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.  “We are proud of and each one of the participants and are always impressed with the level of talent in the state of New Jersey.”

Photo and interview opportunities are available upon request


New Jersey Shout Down Drugs 2016 Finalists

Atlantic County                                                                                                 Mercer County

Amanda Camper                                                                                        Senteria Coleman


Bergen County                                                                                          Middlesex County

Irene Yoon, Ha Kyung (Judy) Oh (4D)                                                            Lucas Espada

                                                                                                                             Ky'esen Sumpter


Burlington County                                                                                   Monmouth County

Rebecca Knighten                                                                                      Michelle Greco


Camden County                                                                                      Morris County

Morgan Suydam                                                                                      Cristina Punzo

                                                                                           Kaylee Pachana,   Elizabeth Vex (Liz & Kaylee)

Essex County

Jamari Hall, Kalib K. Adams,                                                                Online Vote Finalist

Rahmele K.S. Mincey (ERC)                                                                    Ricky Persaud Jr.


Hudson County                                                                                  Wildcards                  

Juan Ferreira, Alexia Velazquez,                                             David Song & Caitlin Chan (Intuit)

Ayman Abdalla (AJani)


Ocean County

Jonathan Stamper


Passaic County

Fitzroy Brown


Salem County

Xavier Blake

Brandon Jefferson


Union County

Olivia McKeon

Brianna Hatch

Matthew Milligan, Jada Peterson (JP2M)